Mastery Moment: Every Day Is Day One

“Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do.”

Inky Johnson

“Every day is day one” is one of my favorite ideas from the world of fitness.

Monica Ricci holding a hand balance

A few days ago, I shared that phrase as a caption on my Instagram account, along with a black and white photo of myself holding a hand balance. A few people left comments, and one, in particular, got me thinking.

Instagram comment on Monica Ricci's post

A woman commented, “So true! Just wish this is what day one looked like,” with a winky face and a laughing emoji. Oh boy, did I feel that! Isn’t that one of the mysteries of human nature? If we’re honest, don’t we often desire a specific outcome without having to invest the inputs it requires? Or am I the only one?

Sometimes I want something, and like a toddler, I wish I could magically have it without doing what it takes to get it. I’m not too proud to admit that I sometimes see this in myself. If you notice yourself doing the same, do you accept it? If not, I invite you to!

It’s empowering to call yourself out on the tendency to want something you haven’t earned. because it’s a misalignment. And misalignment almost always creates resistance, and resistance leads to unhappiness. However, shining a light on it gives you the power to change it.

Desire in itself doesn’t create unhappiness. Desire is great when followed by intentional action! It fuels invention, innovation, evolution, and progress. Desiring something and pursuing it with verve is exhilarating!

However, desiring something without applying intentional action is a source of unhappiness. When you know what you want, but you aren’t doing what it takes to get it, you become unhappy. Or frustrated. Or annoyed.

You may tell yourself you didn’t want it anyway or that it’s not that important. Or worse, you become critical of others who do have it. That’s when unhappiness with yourself turns into envy toward others, and that’s a bad road to go down. Envy is a poison that only impacts you through the awareness of your own deficiency.

In contrast, adopting the “Every day is day one” mindset and then taking consistent action is the antidote to the unhappiness created by desire alone. Just as you can’t step from the bottom rung of a ladder to the top without touching steps in between, you can’t get the outcomes you want without taking the steps to achieve them.

Self-mastery is the ability to do what you need to, regardless of how you feel. To cultivate an “every day is day one” mindset, remind yourself of these three things daily:

  1. You will never, ever reach perfection in any arena.
    Let yourself off the hook; perfection isn’t possible for humans. However, striving for it consistently, even while knowing you won’t get there, will raise your game.
  2. Frequency trumps intensity.
    Your skill and commitment level both benefit from the practice. Superior results come from giving your best effort with mindful attention every day, rather than making a great effort sporadically.
  3. You won’t “feel like it” every day.
    When the target is a distance away, it’s easy to lose your motivation. That’s normal. Expect to not feel like it some days and when those days show up, give them a nod and take action anyway.

Former college football player Inky Johnson is credited with saying, “Don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do.”  What a powerful way to sum up the topic and drive home the importance of cultivating the “every day is day one” mindset in life and business.

Health and Arete,


PS: Email “TEAM” for info on group coaching for your team and “MOMENTUM” to be invited to a monthly Momentum Meetup self-mastery Zoom!

Monica Ricci- Contributor at Zone of Genius

Monica Ricci spent 20 years as an organizing and productivity consultant, speaker, and trainer. Today she coaches busy professionals and business teams, replacing unproductive habits with powerful ones so they can create the success they desire and deserve. Monica enjoys strength training, baseball, photography, travel, and high-quality butter.

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